Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
The Process of Photography as a Somaesthetic Strategy
Returning veterans face daunting personal challenges: physical, mental, economic, and the everyday. The gap between deployment and reintegration must be bridged because the veteran who is not prepared for this transition will be marginalized. This compromise is unfair to the war veteran and requires the intervention of many strategies. Employing Richard Shusterman’s somaesthetics as a conceptual framework, my inquiry positions the process of photography as an aesthetic, somatic strategy with implications for veterans returning from deployment as part of a journey towards wellness. The process of photography is understood as the mindful, intentional act of photographing. Inherently interdisciplinary, somaesthetics is based in contemporary pragmatism and grounded in philosophical aesthetics. Somaesthetics acknowledges embodied lived experience, which lessens the divide between the senses and intellect, theory and practice. Anchoring the process of photography in somaesthetics facilitates connections within the Humanities by broadening historical, cultural, and philosophical perspectives providing a deeper context within which the complexities faced by returning veterans can be better understood.